Research Initiatives

At the School of Social Sciences, our academic staff are active researchers. Many have been successful in receiving national funding, from entities such as the Australian Research Council, as well as individual research contracts from government and other organisations.

Our School is involved in a number of interdisciplinary research initiatives that bring together researchers from across the social sciences. We regularly collaborate with researches from other Schools and Faculties as well as working closely with a range of external partners.

Below are some of our current research initiatives. For more information about research at the School of Social Sciences, please visit our discipline hubs.


Criminal Networks Research Group

The UNSW Criminal Networks Research Group is a multidisciplinary group of scholars connected by research interests in criminal networks, organised crime, and trafficking in illicit commodities. Members are drawn from diverse disciplines and Schools within UNSW Australia as well as collaborators from Australian and international universities.

Find out more about UNSW Criminal Networks Research Group.


Community Development Project

The UNSW Community Development Project (CDP) is a unique educational partnership between UNSW, social housing residents, Housing NSW, and local social service providers. The CDP works alongside residents in Redfern, Waterloo, South Coogee and Chifley to build on the strengths and capacities of people living in social housing neighbourhoods and to bring about changes in local issues that matter most to residents.

Find out more about the UNSW Community Development Project.


A Future Beyond the Wall

This study is focused on the relationship between in-prison and post-prison vocational education and employment programs, employment and recidivism. It aims to identify effective elements, strategies, program and policy directions in offender training and employment.

Find out more about A Future Beyond the Wall.


Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support (IDBS) Program and Chair

The IDBS Program aims to expand the body of knowledge and increase workforce capacity in the delivery of services to people with intellectual disabilities with complex support needs. The initiative is lead by Government appointed Chair, IDBS, Associate Professor Leanne Dowse.

Find out more about the IDBS Program and Chair


Practical Justice Initiative

The Practical Justice Initiative is focused on dealing with some of the most difficult social issues that face our society and the globe today. It brings together innovative research on the theoretical dimensions of justice together with a practical, applied focus on significant social and political problems such as climate change and health.

Find out more about the Practical Justice Initiative